Finally my Visa to US of A has been approved (somehow) by a wierdo visa officer. After many months I felt that "true happiness" kinda stuff. It was a fun filled ride of my two day trip to American Embassy, New Delhi which I am so eager to share with you people that I have been punching keys the moment I reached home. A have a bunch of snippets and memories to share and so they are organized as per your convenience.
And yes, a wardrobe malfunction is coming up too down the post, you gotta get reading ;)
A Vote of Thanks.
But yes, some gratitude first! Special thanks to supporting friends like Vatsan and Deorah (who actually a day before the interview, took an half hour long mock interview to charge me up. The kind of questions he posed entirely raped me but sort of prepared me for the worst. I unconditionally recommend him for a job of a Visa Officer in the immigrant section especially. America will be happier. LoL)
Also thanks for the kind wishes of the people who commented on my previous post. Holly (An Amazing Blogger), Snehal and Palak, you people really rock for being so regular here!
To my family, who believed in me.
And yes thanks to those who came there, felt my pain and left without their footprints. I welcome them again :)
The City of New Delhi
Leaving my village (Bhatinda) behind for two days was a relief. Who doesn't prefer beautiful structures looming above you and hot chicks lurking around you? Although Delhi has it's own problems of pollution and population. But the area we visited and took the hotel room in was quite nice to hang around. The place having all the embassies is quite posh and filled with all sorts of foreigners. The streets are bundled with sleek hotels and enticing food joints. I had a hell lot of street and chat food a day before my Interview. I just did not want to stay idle, so kept myself busy till the final hour. Roamed the streets, got some few things done related to the documentation n stuff, checked out the chicks (which were definitely better than what I see these days @ village).
It's like that in advanced n modern cities, no matter what, chicks know how to carry themselves out. They know what to hide and what to accentuate. So it kinda works ;) But sorry, I digress. This post must be about my Interview.
Ill-Will ho gaya...
I returned to my room at night and discovered the alternating patterns of hot and cold stuff had made my throat go bad. I was quite worried that the condition will worsen by the next day. So I took some throat healing toffees, vicks etc (they did not help much). Next morning I woke up and decided to do the hot water gargles. Turned out that the first gargle made me vomit. And quite a junky stuff landed before my washbasin which I was expecting anyway. I could make out the contents of it, not completely though.
So all in all, a nice start for the biggest interview of my life (till date). The appointment was at 0915 hours and I checked out at around 8 in hurry and somehow reached on time.
Now this is my favorite part...I had prepared the documentation and all for like a month just for this day. Read around 300-400 interviews on the Internet to prepare myself for this. But my interview...it was nothing like I had ever seen before (hardly..)
The Delhi embassy was quite organized and I was rather amazed by the professionalism in the way they were carrying out their routine work. Around me were a lot of non-immigrant people, many of them sweating hard. Rejects and refusals were raining hard. I tried myself to engage in arranging my docs while I waited for my Token number to be called.
I was assigned to this 25-30 year old, male VO(Visa Officer) with short hair and a stone cold face. He was hammering a Sikh(=Sardarji) guy before me pretty hard. What I heard is this-->
VO: Why this Univ---why you select this---why not study in India-----
Sikh Guy: I-i-i-i-t mmmmmmmatches-s-ss mmmmy prrrrofile. (He was shaking so bad that he couldn't even speak properly. The applicant appeared so afraid that he took a full minute to speak this line "It matches my profile" and what a lame answer.)
VO; I am rejecting your Visa. Thump. (He stamped reject on his passport and returned it to him)
Next was my turn. I was almost sure that this arrogant VO guy can screw the hell outta me. I approached cautiously. But believe me, this guy amazed me. That's how it went-->
VO: (Looking at his computer screen continuously and typing something, as I approached he ignored me completely)
DK: Good Morning officer (Said in a normal tone, after waiting for 10 seconds)
VO: (Gave no reply, did not even look at me, just placed his hand in the sliding place of the counter, pointing towards my stapled passport. I forwarded my passport and i20)
VO: So how many universities you applied to? (that was a wierd question to be the first one),
DK: Six universities. I applied to X, Clemson univ, ASU, UFL, U of Cincinnati-(Cuts me here)
VO: Your Visa has been issued. It will be couriered to you.
I was like. WTF? One question? No documents asked? No GRE, TOEFL? NO Degree %? NO Finance? I mean I was like, "Cmon man atleast see something, lol, at least see my GRE man..lol".
I was so DUMBSTRUCK, that I actually stood there with a blank face staring at him, not believing his words. His arrogant and stoned face still made me feel like it was a reject. He had to get rid of me from his eyes sight by yelling "NEXT" and then I only remember being shoved out of the line by a fat candidate behind me...
And that was it...lol.
Visa Interview, big hype but all bullshit. I think the reasons behind this "shortest interview" are that
1. He was quite pissed off that Sikh guy before me. (Thanks Sikhs, really.)
2. He had already seen in my i20 the scholarship etc and that's why din't worry about finance and all.
ANYWAY, IT WAS DAMN COOL. I never expected MY VI would be SO AWESOME ;)
The Wardrobe Malfunction
And here it is, your best part buddy. The one you have been waiting for so long or maybe simply scrolled down to read it first ;) It's okay, I understand. ;p
So it's weird you know, at the embassy there were a few chicks that weren't really dressed well. I mean too casual or maybe too slutty. High pointed heels with Low deep neck tops. I mean, c'mon. You are here for a professional interview and not some. . .All the time I was thinking about THEM that what if they accidentally revealed too much to the VO and he gets angry and denies you visa?
But fate is evil. Turns out it was ME who suffered from a wardrobe malfunction all along.
Only thing is I realized it a little too late. I came out of the embassy all smiling and happy, grinning at the crowd of the anxious parents waiting outside, looking for my dad. Some of them were grinning back at me (lol). I found my dad and he was quite happy on hearing the news. He expressed his worries that since morning he was a little negative about the lousy clothes I had worn for this day and was thus afraid that they might reject me on the basis of my casualty with regards clothing.
He again reviewed me from top to bottom and said, "You look awful. Look everyone is dressed in formal. And you were so casual. But I guess that doesn't matter. You GOT IT."
"Yeah dad, I got it. The sikh guy before me who got rejected was in full formals, white shirt, black trousers, nicely fitted turban and all..."
"Hey but wait, what omg. Your trouser's zipper is open. lol" with that he slapped his palm on his forehead and I felt weird lol. And I thought, all this time...lol...
I forget to fly it up I guess before leaving the hotel where I pee'ed the last in hurry. And since those 2-3 hours, I was roaming like this. .In the entire embassy, in my interview, I was a moving wardrobe malfunction. God, lol.
But anyway not much harm done, no revelation of any kind of course, my loose shirt was quite low, so I guess that covered the place for most of the time. :D
There is worry. There is anxiety. There is fear.
And all sorts of related mixed emotions brew inside my mind as the final day approaches near. The day that will very much decide the outcome of two years hard work. Every passing second is going too slow. Too slow that I can feel it melting and vanishing before my senses.
And yet, sometimes, some minutes are just too fast. They click away ahead and I am left behind, closer to the end. The end which I hope will turn out to be good.
Everyone tells you, "Hey! Stay calm dude, it's really nothing. Just stay calm and relax.". Perhaps they forgot how calm they were when they went through this. Or maybe they have no idea how they serene will be when they will be standing in my shoes. When I will get past this thing, I will never give any of my friend this superficial advice of being calm. I will ask them to just go through it and be yourself. It's like if you are in a dark tunnel, you keep walking. You don't act calm etc. You have to walk and bear the darkness of the path.
A another great advice which one of my friends gave it was, "Keep yourself busy and you will never realize that the moment has come!"
I am really trying to do that. And gosh! It helps. Watch movies, seasons and write boring blog posts :) And Ta-Da, few hours click away. But as soon as the realization comes back, as soon as the senses perceive that lesser time is remaining, the fear strikes. The strike is sudden and cold. Cold like a silver knife penetrating your thick skin, inch by inch, on a lonely moonless night.
But whenever I am worried or tensed or anything of that sort, I try an old formula which usually works in most of the cases. You can try it on yourself but you got to be serious about it, if you want it to work well. It works for me, it's my mantra...Take a few seconds as you answer each question in your mind with eyes closed.
"Whenever in doubt or worry, ask yourself the following questions and you will find all your problems melting away.
Who are you?
What is it that you are so afraid of?
Does it even exist? Or is it all virtual, weaved by your own mind?
Who are your enemies?
Are they your enemies in the true sense? Or is it you who have tagged them as enemies? Are they not those great mountains or hurdles for which you prepared for so long?
If you think deeply about the thing that scares or worries you the most and if you think from a tangential point of view, you will soon discover that, that thing doesn't even exist. It's just another creation of your own mind. It's YOUR mind that creates those monsters and then gives them wings.
You are not weak. They are."
Hmm, re-reading this gives me a bit of relief and confidence. Confidence, yes that's the most important thing. So I guess I will go now and pack my bags n stuff. Oh yeah and all this while, I was talking about my Visa Interview which is scheduled on this Tuesday and I am leaving tomorrow for the city. If everything goes well, there mite be an elated post later down this week. If not, there will be a bit of silence. You will have to assume yourself then.
Signing off, hoping to get some good wishes from readers :)
- A Computer
- Internet (Dialup will also do, you just need to able to open www.google.com)
- Idleness (Some one who has nothing else better to do in his life, just like me, lol)
Update on my life
Ah, a post after a long time. I don't know how exactly it happened but the "free time" in my summer holidays wasn't abused well. Thanks to my laziness. And yeah there were a couple of things going around lately which kept me busy.
Booked my Visa Interview (VI) date for US and booked a flight as well. If everything goes well on the VI (End of June), I will be happily flying in Aug'10. Flying to a place where dreams are supposed to come true. A big illusion it is, I know. But sometimes having an illusion in your life is what keeps you motivated and encouraged.
After all what is real?
You just brand everything YOU think as real and unreal. You tag everything you perceive as true or false. You decide things as right or wrong on your own. Who are you to know that anyway?
Bah anyway too much of personal update. Sorry if you were least interested in that. I get myself to the topic of today's post now. It's about my rekindled love for writing. Although it was being rekindled every day in the past week when I was indulged in reading this particular book I am going to talk about today.
I just finished reading "On Writing" by Stephen King! Yow! Pow!
And oh my, what a book. What an author.
I was longing to read this book since long(it is one of those rarest non-fiction books I have ever read in my life, I hate non-fiction usually) But this is a book that's like immensely helpful for my fiction career. Besides everywhere on the Internet I had heard every pro n noob say about this book, "If you haven't read this yet, you MUST!"
And I truly agree on that. If you are reading this blog post and really want to be a writer, go ahead and read this piece. You can thank me later on. :)
Now Stephen King here, in this amazing book on writing, has included a group of flashbacks of his life in the first half. Those flashbacks sort of serve as the foundation to his writing career. And in the second half, he is giving pure tips on every aspect of writing. From theme to language, from character to plot, from first draft to revisions, it's all there.
Get it, if you can. Now.
While I read the book, I marked every now and then a few lines that I really liked. I am going to quote them here for two purposes.
1. So that they stay here forever and I can come back to this post to get some motivation.
2. So that YOU as a writer understand the awesomeness of this very book.
Now following are a list of quotes all written and copyrighted by Mr. Stephen King. I am reproducing them here for purely non-commercial purposes. They are here just for pleasure. After all, pleasure is what I am after.
And what is life without pleasure? Nothing.
K, here they go:-
"Four stories. A quarter apiece. That was the first buck I made in this business."
(King's first stories bought by his mom when he was quite young, around six or seven years old I guess. And yeah today he is frikking rich)
"One thing I've noticed is that when you've had a little success, magazines are a lot less apt to use that phrase, 'Not for us.'"
(When he rewrote and resubmitted a short story after ten years of its initial rejection date to the same magazine. This time his profile was backed by a couple of bestsellers.)
"I think I was forty before I realized that almost every writer of fiction and poetry who has ever published a line has been accused by someone of wasting his or her God-given talent. If you write (or paint or dance or sculpt or sing, I suppose), someone will try to make you feel lousy about it, that's all."
"And whenever I see a first novel dedicated to a wife (or a husband), I smile and think, There's someone who knows. Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference."
(Ah, I wish I get a wife who loves to read and write.)
"Creative people probably do run a greater risk of alcoholism and addiction than those in some other jobs, but so what? We all look pretty much the same when we're puking in the gutter."
(King fought back his addiction for alcohol after he realized its worth)
"Life isn't a support-system for art. It's the other way round."
"Grammar is not just a pain in the ass; it's the pole you grab to get your thoughts up on their feet and walking. Besides, all those simple sentences worked for Hemingway, didn't they? Even when he was drunk on his ass, he was a fucking genius."
(Ernest Hemingway a drunkard? Oh my. Suddenly I have some respect for alcohol.)
"The adverb is not your friend."
Okay, that covers around half of the book. I am tired and so I will do the remaining in Part 2 of this post. And yeah, the coming ones in the next post are most valuable for you if you are an aspiring writer.
"Let the artist inside you scream and breathe fire. Because that fire will keep the rest of the world burning, forever." -Death Knight ;)
Till then, good luck and keep writing.
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